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Full text of "Butterflies of Mauritius"

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Transactions of the Entomological Society of London. 

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( 329 ) 



VII. JVotes on the ButterJUes of Mauritius, 

By Roland Trimen, 

[Read 3rd September, 18660 

Having during last year paid a brief visit to Mauritius, I am 
enabled to lay before tbe Entomological Society a few Notes on 
the Rhopalocera of that island, so interesting in its relation and 
propinquity to Madagascar, My stay in the island was very 
short, being confined to the first three weeks of July ; but^ through 
the kindness of many residents, I enjoyed such good opportunities 
of collecting, that very few of the insular biUterflies escaped my 
notice, 

Boisduval, in his *' Faune Entomologiqiie de Madagascar, 
Bourbon, et Maurice," published in 1833, enumerates 20 species 
of Rhopalocera as inhabitants of Mauritius^ or, including his 
Thymele {hmene) Ramanaleh^ a doubtful native, 21 species. Of 
these I met with 16^ and was presented with 3 others by Mr, 
Caldwell and Mr, Colville Barclay. Since my return to the Cape, 
Lady Barkly has sent me anotlier species ; so that but one of 
Boisduval's list is wanting to my collection, and that is the doubt- 
ful Mauritian insect just named. 

In addition to the above I captured 4 species not known to 
Boisduval as Mauritian, and was presented with another by Mr, 
Barclay, These 5 insects, new to the Mauritius catalogue, are 
distinguished by an asterisk *, w^hile those species which 1 did 
not myself capture, but which are included in Boisduvars enu- 
meration^ are marked thus ^. 

1. Papillo Phorbanta^ Liim. 

This beautiful Papillo is common in Mauritius, and was the 
first butterfly that I saw in the gardens about Port Louis. I met 
with it also at Pam pie mousses, Reduit, RiversdaJe, Riviere du 
Rempart, and Vakoa. Its flight (that of the $ at least) is strong 
and rapid, even more so than that of its African ally, F* Nireus^ 
though I did not see it soar to the height the latter commonly 
reacheSp When on the wing the bright green-blue patches are 
conspicuouSj causing the butterfly to resemble a large Diadema of 
the Bolhia group. In the Botanic Gardens at Pampleniousses I 



330 Mr. R, Trimen's Notes on 

noticed that specimens were continually visiting trees of the Citrus 
group, upon wliich Boisduval notes that the larvae feed. I never 
saw a living specimen of the $, and from what Mr* Caldwell, 
wlio kindly gave ine an example, stated as his experience, I be- 
lieve it to be very scarce. In connection with the apparent rarity 
of this sex, it is interesting to observe that M* Maillard * notes 
the 2 of the very closely-allied PapiUo disparilu of Bourbon 
is much rarer than the ^, the proportion of ^ to $ being 
20 to 1. Mr- Bates (Proc, ZooL Soc-, November^ 18G3), with 
some doubt, includes a single specimen of P, Pkorbanta in a col- 
lection of Mr, Caldwell^s as a native of Madagascar, Judging 
from what is known concerning the nearly-related forms in other 
Archipelagic groups, it seems to me highly improbable that Pkor- 
hcinta co-exists with its very close ally Epiphorbas^ in Madagascar, 
In looking over Mr. CaldwelFs collection at Port Louis^ I found 
that his Madagascarene and Mauritian captures were mingled 
together, and it is not improbable that in the collection submitted 
to Mr. Bates for examination, an example of Pkorbanta may have 
been inadvertently substituted for Epiphorbas^ 

2.* Callidryas Florella^ Fabr, 

This did not appear to be a common insect in Mauritius ; but I 
met with several specimens in Port Louis^ at Keduit, and at Pam- 
plemousses. It is a species widely distributed over Africa, and is 
found in the Cape de Verde Islands ; but I am not avvare of its 
occurrence in Madagascar ^ though , as Dr< Peters met with it at 
Querimba, and M, Maillard found it '^very common" in Bourbon, 
there is good ground for imagining that it does inhabit the great 
island. 

A specimen of Florella was among a few other butterflies 
shown to me as having been collected by Dr. BurroweSj of 
H.M,S, ^' ArieV at Zanzibar- 

3,* Callidryas Rhadia^ Boisd. 

A species rather scarcer than C Florella^ but of quite similar 
flight and habits. Taken at Keduit and at Pamplemousses, and 

seen at Riversdale. This Callidryas has also an extensive African 
range, though I find no record of its inhabiting Eastern Africa, 

* "Notes sur Tile de la Reunion (Bourbon)/' Paris, 1862; a work, the 
knowledge of %vhich I owe to the kindness of Mr. Edward Newton^ of 
Mauritius* 



the Butter/lies of 3Iauritius* 331 

There is a specimen from Mauritius in the collection of the Biitii>h 
MuseaiTi. 



4i* Terias Rahel^ Fabr, 

I refer to this well* known African species Terias pulchcUa of 
Boisduvalj having been unable to discover any characters suffi- 
cient to separate tl^e latter from the continental form. The breadth 
of the black border varies slightly in the £ . Specimens from 
Madagascar, given me by Mr. Caldwell^ are smaller and darker 
than tliose I captured in Mauritius^ and resemble the example 
figured in the ** Faune Entomologique de Bladagascar, &c/' The 
insect is very common in some localities, especially at Reduit and 
in the Pamplemousses Gardens- Its flight is rather active, but it 
usually keeps close to the ground, and settles among the herbage 
at short intervals. 

5. Terms Floricola^ Boisd, 

There is little to separate this insect from T. Hecabe^ Linn.^ 
excepting its smaller size and the much narrower black border of 
the fore-wing ; but as those characters appear to be constant^ it is 
perhaps as well, in a group of species so extremely difficult to de- 
termine as are those of the genus Terias^ to keep Florkola distinct 
until further knowledge afford ihe means of deciding the question. 
This butterfly is more generally common in Mauritius than T* 
Rahely and may be found in the same localities. In the Pample- 
mousses Gardens I found it flying in company with T* Rahel^ and 
on one occasion captured a specimen of each species, as the two 
were sporting and chasing each other. M. Maillard states that, 
in Bourbon, '* the $ is much less abundant than the ^," 



6. Etipkea Eaphone^ Fabr- 

A common and conspicuous species, gregarious in its habits, 

and to be found in gardens and wooded spots. Its flight is usually 
about trees and shrubs, especially such as are in flower; and is 
not unlike that of Danais ChrysippuSy though more floating. The 
$ is rather duller in colour than the Sj and has less of the 
faint violaceous gloss. Both sexes have the peculiar odour so 
remarkable in butterflies of this family; and the ^, when han- 
dled, protrudes a pair of curious anal appendages, consisting of an 
elongate bright yellow filament, ending in a fascicle or tassel of 



332 Mr. R- Ti imen's Notes on 

radiating hairs of the same colour,* The species has been met 
with in MaJagascaFj but there is no record of its inhabiting Bour- 
bon • In Mauritius I found the insect most common at Reduit and 
Pamplemousses- In the collection above referred to, said toliave 
been made by Dr* Burrowes in Zanzibar, I found a specimen of 
Euphone, which differed in no respect from Mauritian examples. 



7* Danais Pha^done^ Fabr, 

Mr. Bates has very rightly (Proc. Zooh Soc.^ Nov, 1863) 
placed this butterfly in the genus Danais, as it presents all the 
structural characters of that group, though its peculiar facies and 
colouring give it a strong superficial resemblance to Euplma Eu' 
jyJione. In connexion with this likeness between the two species, 
I may mention that I found Z), Pha^done much scarcer than E. 
Euplione, but almost invariably flying in company with the latter. 
The i is readily distinguished from the S by the broader 
ochreous band of the hind- wing, which occasionally unites wi,th some 
of the spots of the sub-marginal row. Mr, Bates (he, cit,)^ in 
noting a specimen from Madagascar in Mr. Caldweirs collection, 
observes that Phdedone ^* has hitherto been recorded only as in- 
habiting the island of Mauritius :'^ but I find that Boisduval 
(Faune Ent. de Madag. &c,j p, 37) mentions its occurrence in 
Madagascar, ^' aux environs de Tamatave." Its nearest ally seems 
to be the abundant D< Echeria, StoU, of southern and south- 
eastern Africa, the fore*wings of the two species almost coinciding 
in colours and markings. 



8. Danais Chryslppus^ Linn, 

T took a specimen of this well-known and widely-ranging species 
in the woods at Vakoa, in the south-west of the island* This was 
the only living example I saw* M. MaiUard notes that in Bour- 
bon this insect is richly coloured, 

* Sirailar appendages exist in \nm^y EnploBm ; — I possess a $ of E, superbat 
Herbs t, in which these organs are exserted and conspicuous, A $ Danais 
Echeria, Stollj lately forwarded to me from Port Natalj also exhibits the same 
appendages ; though, among the many $ 's of this insect that I have captured, 
I never found one that protruded them. Mr. Bates has recorded a similar 
structure in t^^o genera {Lycorea and I lima) of Danaoid Helkonidfr, — a fact 
interesting as tending to confirm his view of that group being closely related 
to the true Dmiaid^~ 



the Butterjlies of Blauritivs. 333 

9. Aiclla Phalanta^ Dru, 

This butterfly is by no means uiicoranion in Mauritius, but it 
is smaller and with strontrer markinj^s than those occurrinii on the 
African continent. The largest specimens that I have seen are 
from China. I found Phalanla most numerous at Pamplemousses, 
but took it also at Terre Rouge and at Vakoa. It is stated by 
M. MaiHard to be *' very common*' in Bourbon, the 2 being, 
however, much rarer than the $ . 

m 

10.^ Pyrameu Canlai^ Linn* 

I was surprised not to meet with this familiar acquaintance in 
Mauritius, seeing that Boisduval mentions it as one of the insular 
inliabitants, A Mauritian example, given me by Mr. Caldwell^ 
differs in no respect from the usual appearance of the species* 
M, Maillard records the butterfly as a native of Bourbon, 

11.^ Pyrameis Mippomene^ Boisd, 

This handsome insect appears to be decidedly scarce in Mauri- 
tiuSf and, according to M* Maillard, is rare in Bourbon. Mr. 
Colville Barclay showed me the wings of a specimen taken by him, 
some years ago, in the Moka district. From these, from some 
specimens whicli I hastily examined in the Port Louis Museunij 
and from Boisduval's figures and description, I think that the 
Mauritian form of tlie species may well be held distinct from the 
south African form as a marked variety, if not as a sub-species. 
The examples from Mauritius are considerably larger and darker, 
with the apical region of the fore-wings and the tails of the hind- 
wings much more produced; the apical white spots of the fore- 
wing are smaller^^ and the under-surface markings of the hind-wing 
are brighter, with the stri^ more angulated, 

12,* Junonia Rhadama^ Boisd. 

I was rejoiced to find tliis brilliant butterfly not uncommon in 
Mauritius, I first saw it flitting about a grassy bank at the side 
of the road at Terre Rouge, between Port Louis and Pample- 
mousseSi and instantly recognised the species by its size and 
colour. The richness and glitter of the metallic-blue upper- 
surface in a fresh S is exquisitely beautifulj as the insect basks 
with fully expanded wings in the tropical sunliglit; and the ?, 
though less splendid, is by no means inconspicuous. In fliglit the 



334 Mr. R, Trirnen's Notes on 

insect is a tliorougli Vanessa^ often settling, but active^ wary and 
rapid. Boisduvars figure (Faune Ent, de Mad. &:c*, pi* vii. fig* 
2) gives but a faint idea of the size and beauty of /?Artff/ama, The 
oudine of the wings varies much, but the angulation is more 
marked in the $ than in the $ * In both sexes there is a double 
streak of a lighter blue than the ground-colour along the hind- 
margin of the hind-wing; and, in the same wing, between the 
lower sub-costal and discoidal nervules, a second ocellus, dull- 
red, black-ringed (with a black-dotted violaceous pupil), which is 
occasionally almost obsolete in the J , but always large and well- 
marked in the J- In the latter sex, the small ocellus in the 
fore-wing is more distinct ; tlie apical white dots in the same wing 
are larger, while there is a row of four other white spots from the 
costa, conspicuously margining the outer edge of the transverse 
black streak ; and the blue is duller, and much obscured in the 
basal regions of both wings* Some g specimens present a fuscous 
surface, in which the blue is almost obsolete. As in most species 
of Junonia^ the under-surface is very variable in both sexes, 
chiefly in the number and distinctness of tlie ocelli: in some 
examples it is throughout suffused with greyish, while in others 
the whitish and blackish streaks and shadings are conspicuous* 

I found this species at Reduit^ in the Pamplemousses Gardens 
(where it frequented the attractive flowers of Lantana)^ and once 
in Port Louis, It was very interesting to learn, on the testimony 
of many residents (including M. Bouton, Superintendent of the 
Museum, Mr. Caldwell and Mr. Colville Barclay), that the but- 
terfly was unknown in Mauritius till a few years ago. It appeared 
suddenly in 1857 or 18.58, and was not rare from the first, several 
specimens having been brought to the Museum at that time from 
different parts of the Island, M, Maillaid observes, that it is a 
** very common" insect in Bourbon, and Dr. Peters found it at 
Querimba on the Mozambique Coast ; so that Rhadama^ until 
lately supposed to be a peculiar product of Madagascar, appears 
to be not only extending its range, but to have been probably 
African in its origin. 

IS •'I' Junonla AuguMina^ Boisd* 

This fine and very peculiar looking Junonia is only known to 
occur in Madagascar, Bourbon and Mauritius. In the latter 
island it is rare, and, according to M* Maillard, is seldom to be 
met with in Bourbon- I saw some faded examples in the Port 
Louis Museum, and two or three, much damaged by insects, in a 



the ButlerJlleB of Manritim, 335 

case of Lcpidoptera collected in Pamplemousses Gardens by tlie 
son of the Superintendent, Mr* Colville Barclay gave me one of 
two specimens in his possession, taken in the Moka district* 
This example is a $, and presents on the fore-wing a transverse 
sub-marginal row of four bkrish-white spots, of which the first is 
largest and is edged both above and below by violaceous scales. 
On the under surface, the greenish-bronzy lustre is very appa- 
rent ; and there is a conspicuous white marking (not mentioned or 
delineated by Boisduval)on the costaof the hind- wing, immediately 
before and adjoining the reddisli transverse streak. In spite of 
tlie very difFerent outUne of wings, the general coloration of this 
butterfly bears considerable resemblance to that of Eiiphva Eu- 
phone^ and I can well imagine its escaping notice if flying in com- 
pany with the latter species. 

14* Neptis Frohenia^ Fabr* 

This does not appear to be commonj as I only met with about 
half-a-dozen examples. It haunts sheltered wooded spots, usually 
keeping about a particular tree or tall shrub for some time. Its 
flight is quite that of a Limenitis, I only found it in the Moka 
district, at Reduit and Riversdale, Boisdtival records the species 
as a native of Madagascar. In Bourbon, where Frobenia does 
not occur, its place is occupied by the nearly related form N, 
Dumetorum^ Boisd. 

15, Diadema Bolina^ Linn, 

I chanced suddenly upon the only specimen of this well known 
butterfly that I observed in Mauritius, at the edge of a small 
plantation in the Moka district. Sir Henry Barkly saw another 
example while I was in pursuit of the first; both were males. M, 
Maillard notes the species as *' not rare'* in Bourbon, and (as 
well as Boisduval) records the occurrence thereof the pale variety 
of the 5 J named Inaria by Cramer. It is very interesting to observe 
how this insect, the $ of which so precisely imitates the appear- 
ance of Danah Chrijsippus^ almost rivals its model in geographical 
range, though it does not appear to have yet extended into 
Southern Europe. Its occurrence in parti:; of the New World,* 
where Chrijsippm is unknown, seems to be regarded by many 
Lepidopterists as accidental ; among others by Mr, Bates (Proc* 

* A specimen from Jamaica is included in the British Museum Catalogue; 
Boisduval ^ives '* Guiana/' and Doubleday and West wood, ** Guiana, Cay- 
enne and Surinamj" as habitats of Bolhia. 



33 G Mr. E. Trimen's JVotes on 

ZooL Socj Nov, 1863)j wTiose laborious researches for eleven 
years in South America give great weight to bis opinion. 



16. Cyllo Leda^ Linn, 

A very common butterfly in Mauritius, and distributed through- 
out the greater part of Africa^ Asia and Australia. It is always 
found in shady spotSj where it rests upon the ground or upon 
dead leavesj often under low bushes, and, ivhen disturbed , rises 
with a heavy, flapping, but very irregular flightj and ahnost in- 
variably settles before it has gone many yards. In the dark 
alleys between the rows of sugar canes this butterfly may always 
be found, though it is not easily caught in such narrow spaces. 
Towards sunset the insect seems to become more active^ and is 
often met with flying about roads and open spots ; indeed, at 
Flacq, on the Eastern coast of the Island^ I watched several 
specimens of Leda chasing each other in the dusk of the evening 
till it became too dark to see tlieir movements any longer, but, as 
long as they were visible, I noticed that their flight was circular 
in its direction, and always near the ground, about one spot* 
Many of the moth-like Sesperidw^ as is well known, are on the 
wing about, or even a little after sunset, but Leda is the only in- 
stance known to me of a butterfly belonging to the higher groups 
that keeps such late hours. Besides the place named, Port Louis^ 
the mountain La Ponce, Rcduit, Riversdale, and Riviere du Rem- 
part, are localities in which I met with the species* M, Maillard 
describes it as '^very common'^ in Bourbon. 



17. My calesis Narcissus^ Vahr^ 

This appeared to me to be certainly the most abundant butter- 
fly in Mauritius. It was to be found everywhere in sliady spots, 
but seemed especially to prefer wood-paths, and the dry channels 
of watercourses on the mountain sides- It is an active flier for a 
Satyrus^ though constantly settlingi I took specimens in every 
locality that I visited. It is "common'' in Bourbonj according to 
M. Maillard, and " very common" in Madagascar according to 
Bojsduval, The latter author's remark that this insect presents a 
paler and yellower under-surface in Madagascar is borne out by 
some specimens from that Island given me by Mr, Caldwell, 
which are both larger and universally paler than the Mauritian 
examples. 



the Butterflies of Maurithis. 337 

18.^ Lthtfthea Cinyrm^ sp, nov. ? 

I am unable to reconcile with any figure or description to 
u'liich I have access a Libi/thea given me by Mr* Col vi lie Barclay. 
Though at first inclined to consider it a variety of Z, Mf/rrhaf 
Godt,, I find upon examination that the difJerences it presents 
warrant its being held a distinct species. In the fore-7vmg there 
IS no longitudinal stripe from the base, but only anarrow^ oblique^ 
fulvous spot at the end of the discoidal cell, and a good-sized, 
rounded J fulvous spot (much as in tlie Indian L. Lepka, Moore), 
situated upon the second median nervule, between the obtique 
spot and the hind-margin \ while the three apical spots are fulvous 
in colour and narrowed and contiguousj forming an oblique aiigu- 
lated streak. The hhid-wing presents a rather broad irregular 
fulvous sub-marginal band, commencing narrowly and abruptly 
below the first sub-costal, and clhowed just below the second sub- 
costal nervule ; and an additional quadrate fulvous spot on the 
costa beyond the middle. On the nnderside the spots of the fore- 
wing are paler, that at the end of the cell being much larger than 
above, while those near the apex (which is irrorated-grey) are 
almost whitish ; in the discoidal cell there is some faint fulvous 
colouring before the spot. The hind- wing is universally grey, 
with brown hatchings ; there is not any dark stripe along the 
cellular fold, and the spot and band of the upper surface are indi- 
cated by paler spaces, 

A specimen in the South African Museum, captured by Mr. 
E. L. Layard in Madagascar, does not differ from that just de- 
scribed ; and, to the best of my recollection, a Llbythea^ shown me 
by Mr. Waller, of the Zambesi Mission, which was taken near 
the River Shire, presented the same characters. Mr. Layard's 
specimen possesses palpi and antennae, both of w^hich are more 
slender than those of i. Mynha^ the former being also shorter 
and convergent. 

If this species be undescribed, I propose for it the name of 
Lihyihea Cinyras, 

Mr, Barclay informed me that this butterfly is very scarce in 
Mauritius, and that the specimen he gave me was taken in the 
Moka district, 

19. Lyc^na Bcttica^ Linn. 

This species, so very widely distributed in the Old World, was 
not so common in Mauritius as 1 had expected to find it, being 



338 Mr. R* Trimen's Notes on 

almost confined to gardens, vvhere it kept about the cultivated 
pea. I met with it at Port Loaisj Reduit, Pamplemousses and 
Riversdale. M. Maillard notes the insect as occurring in Bour- 
bon^ and Boisduval states that it also inhabits Madaj^ascar, 



20. Lycmna Tdlcanm^ Herbst, 

Far more abundant than L, Bcetlca. Lawns in gardens are 
quite alive with this insect in the enrly forenoon ; and I noticed 
the species in every locaHty I visited. The great majority of 
Mauritian examples consists of individuals considerably smaller 
and darker than those generally met with in South Africa. The 
range of the species is almost identical with that of BiBtica, though 
the latter occurs further to the North- 



Si. Lijc(^na Lysimont Godt, 

This is the third very widely distributed Lyc^ena that inhabits 
Mauritius, and to it I refer a butterfly that I found very common 
in the island ; though, in the absence of any careful figure or 
minute description of Lysimon^ I cannot positively affirm it to be 
tliat species- The specimens exactly resemble others from dif- 
ferent parts of South Africa and from Ceylon, Numerous ex- 
amples were met \vith in waste ground in all parts of the island. 



22, Pamphila Borhonica^ Boisd. 

Syn= — P. Fatuelhis, Ilpfr. (Peters' ^'Reise nach Mossambique," 

Ins. p. 4A 7^ pK xxvii, figs, 3, 4). 

An abundant insect, frequenting flowers in gardens. Found at 
Port Louis, Reduit and Riversdale, Boisduval observes that this 
species is known in Bourbon as Scsperla Mathias^ but at the 
same time remarks that the Fabrician Mathms inhabits Coro- 
mandel, and that Fabricius's description '^ convient moins a notre 
Borbonica qu'a t rente autre s especes difTe rentes*'* On examining 
Latreille's description oi Mathias^ Fabr., I find that there are two 
points of distinction from Borbonica^ viz,, the possession of ** eight 
or nine" vitreous spots in the fore- wing, while Borhonka has but 
seven at ihe most; and of five white spots on tlie underside of 
the hind-vvinjt, while the number in Borbonica is constantly three* 
The Mauritian insect inhabits South Africa^ and is there asso- 



the Butterflies of Mauritius. 339 

ciated with a closely allied form, P. Mohopaan^ Wallengren, 
which may be easily distinguiyhetl by two viteous spots in the dis- 
coidal cell of the fore-wing, and (in the i ) by the diseal streak. 



23, PamphUa Marchalii^ Boisd* 

I did not meet with this insect, but observed a much injured 
Pdmplula in Mr» Caldwell's colloction which I referred to ihe 
species. Since my return to the Cape, Lady Barkly has sent me 
a i example, which was, I believe, taken in the grounds at 
Reduit, The species is easily distinguished from P. Borbonica 
by its rufous-brown colour^ orange-mixed cilia and under surface, 
and by the absence of spots, there being only two small diseal 
vitreous ones in the fore-wing (between the first and tln'rd median 
nervuks), and none in the hind-wing- The outline of the wings 
also differs, being considerably less prominent in the apical region 
of tlie fore-wing and in the anal-angular region of the hind-wing. 



24. Nisoniades Sabadius, Boisd. 

I met with this species only in wooded ground at Reduit, where 
I noticed six or seven examples and took three. It is rapid and 
active in its movements, frequently settling on the under surface 
of leaves. It frequented the small blue flowers of a species of 
Salvia ahiindRni on the estate. The wings are held fully expanded 
when the butterfly is at rest. Mauritian specitnens are smaller, 
redder in tint, and less distinctly marked thtm the South African 
examples of the species. 



25. hmene Florestartj Cram. 

Not a common butterfly in Mauritius : I saw biit four specimens 
on the wing during my stay. Its flight is very swift, but is some- 
what biislling, reminding one of that of the diurnal Nociuwa, e.g. 
the Plusi(€. Like the moths referred to, Florestan seems to 
require much nourishment, and keeps steadily to flowers^ from 
which its long proboscis pumps the nectar in a most effectual and 
business-like manner. The wings are elevated when the insect is 
settledj the hinder pair being" held slightly apart from the fore- 
wings. 1 found this species at Port Louis, Pamplemousses and 
Vakoaj and Lady Barkly lias sent me examples taken at Heduit. 
All these individuals belong to the type-form of the species; the 

VOL* V. THIRD SERIES, PART IV. ^DEC, 1860* B B 



340 Mr. R. Tri men's Notes on 

form which has some black spots on the underside of the hind- 
wings (/. Valmaran^ WIgr,), and which co-exists with the type in 
Southern Africa^ apparently does not inhabit Mauritius, 

26, Ismene Ramanatekj Boisd. 

T have not seen this species^ but it is evident from Boisduval's 
description and figure in the ** Faune Eatom, de Madag. &c.," 
that the insect is allied to Isincne Florestan. It is, however, con- 
siderably smaller, and the white band on the underside is not only 
much narrower and more sinuated, but continuous throughout as 
well as closer to the hind margin. 

The following Table exliibits the distribationf so far as known 
to me, over the neighbouring island s, of the few butterflies in- 
habiting Mauritius, and also indicates very roughly the range of 
sucli of the species as prevail over wider regions of the globe. 



the Butterjlies of Mauritius. 



341 



■ l?4 









> 



ss 



■ V4 

g 






6^ 





a s 

O cq 

Oh" c5 


CA 


Australia. 




s. 

(A 
CO 


Europe, 


3 

t -• « 1 § 

^ ^ o a ^ 


IP 



•ft 

eg 

< 


^-■- ^ «■ - i 

^ « 3 5 - t. 53 g 

r^^ ? .b :3 ,2 ,*^ -S 

q ^' a; Q u ^ ^ 4 


■ 
m 

CO 

:33 


* 

o 

< 


tHp:^Q:5&H cjaiO:::^^ ^^< cq^^qcq cog* 


(A 

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342 Mr. R* Trimen's Notes on 

The very small amount of local peculiarity is markedly appa- 
rent vvjien shown in a tabular form, the only species which are 
endemic being PapUm Fhorbartta anrl PamphUa March alii; or but 
-j^^ of the whole Rhopalocerous fauna. As miglit be inferred from 
the relative position of the islands, there is a large proportion of 
the Mauritian species common to Bourbon (Reunion) and to 
Madagascar, am o tuning in the fbrnitr case to nearly^ arid in the 
latter to quitCj | of the entire number. As regards Madagascar, 
it must be borne in mhul how very little is known of its insect, 
and indeed of its genera!, fauna ; for it is worthy of note that the 
five Mauritian species (apart from the eixlenuc forms mentioned 
above) not recorded to occur there are all natives of the African 
Continent, and it seems most improbable that these species, 
common to South Eastern Africa and Mauritius, sliould not in- 
habit the great intermediate region. 

Looking to Asia, one cannot but be struck by the entire absence 
of any Oriental butterflies in Mauritius, the eight species common 
to Asia and Mauritius being not only of universal distribution 
throughout Africa, but, w^ithout exception, remarkable for all but 
cosmopolitan range. The same remark applies to the Rhopalo- 
Cera of the neighbouring Island of Bourbon, the only species 
common to it and to Asia being the eight just referred to. Those 
naturaUsts who are disposed to assign an Indian (or South East 
Asian) affinity to the fauna of Madagascar ought to find some 
confirmation of their theory in the zoology of the islands lying 
further to the ea.stwardj hut such evidence lias not, to the best of 
my knowledge, been forthcoming,* andj certainly, all that is 



* As regards the Avi-fauna of Mauritius^ I take the opportimity of men- 
tioning that Mr, Edward Newton, who has for some years resided in that 
Islandy and availed himself to the utmost of his excellent opportunities of in- 
vestigating' the ornithology of the Mascarene group, has most kindly given 
me notes on the range and afiiuities of the birds found in Mauritius. I have 
thus Mr, Newton's authority (and it is a high one), for stating that, of the 
sixteen species which may be considered actual uaftves (there are thirty- two 
residents) of the island, not one is known to inhabit Asia, and only one 
i^Ardea atricaplUa) to occur in Africa* Yet the insular endemic species are 
but two in number {Tinnunculus punctatia and PaliTornis equ&s)-, while seven 
species also inhabit Bourbon, and three range to Madagascar. Mr, Newton 
himself sees reason to incline to the theory of Indian aflinities ; bet, from 
his notes, T find that (excluding- the Seychelles fauna from consideration) the 
balance is fairly struck^ vihen we turn to the bird genera^ between Africa and 
Aaia, two genera of either region not occurring in the other having Mauritian 
representatives, (Sea-birds are not included in the numbers given.) 



the Batteiifties of Mauritim. 343 



known of the butterflies inliabiting those islands, as well as Mada- 
gascar itself,* tends to establish an opposite conclusion. 

The only indication^ of connexion with typical Asiatic forms 
is to be found in tlie two Eaploetje, E, Euphom of Mauritius and 
E. Goudoiii of Bourbon, but neither species is known to inhabit 
Asiaj the hitter being a native of Natal, and the former of Mada- 
gascar and (if I am correctly infornifd as to Dr, Burro wes* col- 
lection) of Zanzibar. 

It is reasonable to suppose that the collections of M, Maillard 
and others have made fully known to us the KhapcUocera of 
Bourbon, and it thus becomes interesting to note any differences 
which occur between them and those found in the neiglibouring 
island. The two iblands are not mil ike in general character, and 
are of nearly equal size> but Bourbon is much more rugged, with 
mountains of greatly higher elevation, and possesses at least one 
active volcanic centre* But twenty-two species of butterflies are 
recorded as natives of Bourbon, and eighteen of tliese are also 
found in Mauritius. Of the remaining four, two, Papifio dispa* 
rdis and Neptis Dmnelorum^ seem to he peculiar to the ishmd ; a 
third J Lyc{B7ui Mylica^ recorded by Giienee in M* Mail lard's 
volume, is quite unknown to me ; and the fourtli, Euplwa Goudotit^ 
as already stated^ is African. A certain parallelism is observable 
between the species of eitlier island which are not found in the 
other ; thus, in BourboUj PapUlo dispar'dis takes the place which 
in Mauritius is occupied by P- Phorbanta ; EnplcBa Goudotii takes 
that oi E, Euphone ; while Neptis Diimeformn fairly represents N* 
Frobenia* For the Mauritian Danais Phosdone no analogue appears 
to exist ; and, similarly, the Bourbon Lyci^na Mylica finds no 
answering species in Mauritius. 

It is much to be regretted that no record exists of the butter- 
flies inhabitincf Rodriguez, the third and smallest island of the 
group, which lies much further to tlie eastward ; for there can be 
little doubt tliat an island which can boast its own Dodo, as well 



* See my paper *' On tlie Butterflies of Madagascar/* in the "Quarterly 
Journal of Science," 1864, p^ 64S, 

f The two species of Neptis can hardly be held to be evidence of Indian 
relations ; for, though the genus is far more fully represented in South-eastern 
Asia than in Africa, both ^V, Frobenia and Dumetorum belong to the African 
group of Neptis^ which wants the longitudinal stripe from the base of the 
fore-wrings, and includes such species as N. Meiicertat Fabr< {=Agatkaj Cram.) 
of Western, Southern and Eastern Africa; N. Saclava^ Boisd,, of Southern 
and Eastern Africa ; and tV, Ophlone^ Cram., of Western Africa. 



344 Mn R. Tri men's N^otes on the Butterjlies of 31auritius. 

as one or more endemic species of existing birds, and its peculiar 
palm, contains an entomological fauna of much interest, wliicli 
probably includes some endemic species, and would, if duly in- 
vestigated, afford valuable data as to tbe eastward range of many 
African forms j as well as further evidence on the vexata quwstio 
of Indian affinities. 

In conclusion I will only remark as regards Bourbon and 
Mauritius, that the facts already placed on record afford tbe very 
strongest grounds for believing that those islands have received 
nearly all, if not the whole, of their Rhoimlocera from Africa, 
tlirough the intervening region of Madagascar,